Israel Tour with Dr. Bryan Widbin Global Lead - May 2024

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Our tours are all-inclusive. Always.

All-Inclusive Pricing
Handpicked Hotels
Entrance Fees
Guided Tours
Gratuities & Tips
Deluxe A/C Buses
Portable Listening Devices
Fuel Surcharges
Buffet Breakfasts & Dinners
International Airfare


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Day by Day

  • 1

    Friday, August 18. ARRIVAL. PLEASE NOTE: If you’re originating in the USA, you’ll want to book your flight to TLV to depart onThursday, August 17, to arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv by noon August 18th.

  • 2
    Tel Aviv, Caesarea Maritima, Netanya

    CAESAREA MARITIMA. Upon your arrival, we motor up the coast to the capital city of Roman Palestine, Caesarea by the Sea. This expansive city built by Herod the Great just before the birth of Jesus furnishes an experience in the worlds of Greek culture and Roman imperialism. Later, Caesarea became one of the most prominent Christian cities of the east, and so, sets the stage for our understandings of early Christianity with both Jewish and Gentile influences. Important comparisons of Jesus with Herod the Great and Augustus Caesar furnish an opening look at the Gospels’ understandings of our Lord. Fitting we should start here, as the port of Caesarea received the very first Christian pilgrims from the west, who landed in the Holy Land in the mid-4th century. Overnight Netanya.

  • 3
    Mount Carmel, Megiddo, Nain

    JESUS IN ANTICIPATION: GREEKS, ROMANS, AND SECOND TEMPLE JUDAISM. Mount Carmel, Megiddo, Nain. Our morning opens with a drive to Mount Carmel, which bisects the land, cutting off the largely Gentile north from the core of the country in the central mountain range. We begin on the highest peak of the mountain with a consideration of the encounter between the prophet Elijah and the prophets of Baal (I Kings 18). Understanding the collision between alternative kingdoms envisioned by the kings, on one hand, and the prophets, on the other, is exceedingly important for gaining a proper foundation for Jesus’ life and teachings. We then travel along the ridge above the Jezreel Valley to the Old Testament city of Megiddo (I Kings 9:15) and a look at the Valley of Armageddon. Lots of insights and experiences here lay a foundation for the days to come. Before settling in for the night then, we stop at the village of Nain in lower Galilee, where Jesus raised the widow’s son from the dead (Luke 7:11-17), and then traverse the hills that Jesus knew so well to our stop for several nights in the city of Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Overnight Caesar Hotel, Tiberias.

  • 4
    Sepphoris, Nazareth Village, Precipice, Arbel, Jordan River

    JESUS in BOYHOOD: Sepphoris, Nazareth Village and Precipice, Arbel, Jordan River. This day in the region of lower Galilee begins at the newly built city of Sepphoris, capital of the regime of Antipas, son and heir of Herod the Great. Its majestic theater, water system, Jewish quarter, and palaces capture our imagination. Here Salome danced before Antipas on Purim in 28CE and requested the execution of John the Baptist (Mark 6:23). Sepphoris was labelled by Josephus “the ornament of the Galilee,” and so it was. We then move on to Nazareth for a look inside the Herodian remains of the town where Jesus grew up and visit the largest church in the middle east, The Basilica of the Annunciation. After lunch we move to the brow of the hill, Mount Precipice, where the synagogue elders thought to cast Jesus down (Luke 4:1-16) after his “offensive” haftarah of Isaiah 61:1-2. We move back then to the region of the lake for a short hike up to a promontory for a view of the entire Sea of Galilee at Arbel. Here we discuss the characteristics of Jesus’ disciples and the Old Testament prophecies that spoke of the coming Messiah. Our day concludes at the Jordan River for a discussion of baptism as viewed by John and Paul. We’ll have time here for an Old Testament Sukkot water rite and the importance of the river for early Israel and developing Judaism. Overnight Caesar Hotel, Tiberias.

  • 5
    Kursi, Chorzin, Sermon on the Mount, Capernaum, Boat Ride

    JESUS IN DISTINCTION: Kursi, Chorazin, Sermon on the Mount Walk, Capernaum, Tanureen stop, Boat Ride (Francis Gordon Galilee Sailing). Our day begins at the site of the so-called “swine miracle” on the opposite side of the Sea of Galilee at Gergesa. Here Jesus encountered the demoniac from the Decapolis. After this, it’s on to the Jewish town of Chorazin, once condemned by Jesus for its failure to repent. This medium-sized town gives us a complete picture of normal life in the Jewish Galilee of Jesus’ day. Then we depart the bus and walk down the rise of The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). On our way, we consider Jesus’ teachings to the multitudes that walked with him. We’ll discuss Jesus’ teaching on the Kingdom of God and its relation to the historic covenant faith of Israel. Then, before lunch, we stop at the ruins of Capernaum, where Jesus established a “safe house” for himself and his disciples while in the area of the Sea. Lots to take in here at this town Jesus knew so well. Finally, after lunch, we’ll board a boat fashioned from the ferries of Jesus’ day, relaxing with modern day fishermen on the waters of the Sea. And then at the end, we stop at the ruins of Tiberias, part of the great urbanization of Galilee project implemented by Herod the Great’s son, Antipas, during Jesus’ teenaged years. Overnight Caesar Hotel, Tiberias.

  • 6
    Beth Shean, Jericho, Qumran, Dead Sea, Camel Ride

    JESUS IN FINALIZING: Beth Shean, New Testament Jericho Approach, Qumran, Qalya Beach/Dead Sea Swim, Camel Ride. Our day begins with a move along south to the impressive remains of Beth Shean/Scythopolis and a walk through a day in the life of a citizen of this world-famous city of the Decapolis, the only one on the west side of the Jordan River. Then just before lunch we drive on to the important site of Jericho in the days of the New Testament. We’ll stand at the entrance to the royal estate where Jesus encountered the blind man Bartemaeus (Luke 18:35-43) and walk through the city where he found the tax farmer Zacchaeus in a sycamore tree (Luke 19:1-10). After lunch, we move to the vicinity of the Dead Sea (400 meters below sea level!) for a visit to Qumran. Here Essene sectarians produced the famous Dead Sea scrolls, which tell us much about the state of the Hebrew Scriptures at the time of Jesus. We’ll also view some of the caves where the scrolls were found. Then before bedding down for the night in Jericho, we might still have some time to ride camels at the site of Old Testament Jericho, where the walls fell down. Overnight Oasis Hotel, Jericho.

  • 7
    Ein Gedi, Masada, Dead Sea

    DEAD SEA ADVENTURES. EIN GEDI, MASADA, DEAD SEA SWIM (Qalya Beach). This morning we set out to the area of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the surface of the earth, and to the canyon where David hid from Saul at Ein Gedi (1 Samuel 24). We get a full experience of desert life here and a deep sense of what water in the desert meant to the psalmists and what it still means to the people who live here. Then, it’s on to the infamous fortress of Masada where in 73 AD, Zealot rebels and their families held to the last against Flavius Silva and the Roman army’s 10th legion. The impressive remains here leave a lasting impression of what this site means to the modern state of Israel and how we might find application to us, as well. This day ends at the northern shore of the Dead Sea for a leisurely “float” in the Dead Sea, this absolutely extraordinary body of water, before our drive up the Jericho Road through Bethany to the Holy City of Jerusalem with vistas Jesus would have known so well. Overnight Ambassador Hotel, Jerusalem.

  • 8
    Israel Museum, The Citadel, Tower of David, Bethlehem

    JESUS IN BIRTH. ISRAEL MUSEUM, THE CITADEL/TOWER OF DAVID, WESTERN WALL, HERODIUM, BETHLEHEM. We begin this day at the Israel Museum in the modern west city for a look at the Jerusalem of Jesus’ day, via a 1:50 scale model of Herodian Jerusalem. This mind-capturing model is necessary for appreciating the events of Passion Week tomorrow. Before leaving the museum, we view some of the actual Dead Sea Scrolls housed in the Shrine of the Book at the museum. Then, we return to the Old City of Jerusalem to the remains of Herod’s Praetorium and Palace, where King Herod entertained the Magi on their way to Bethlehem and where Pilate tried and sentenced Jesus for sedition. Then, we’re off to Bethlehem for lunch and some shopping, before an unforgettable visit to the site of Herod the Great’s mausoleum at Herodium, just a few miles away. We compare here this notorious, world-famous figure, “the king by might,” with Jesus the Galilean, “the king by right,” born close by. Our day ends with a visit to the birthplace of our Lord, at one of the three oldest churches in the world, the Basilica of the Nativity, dedicated in 339AD. Here, we enter the cave below the church where records from as early as the 2nd century mark the birthplace of our Lord. Overnight Ambassador Hotel, Jerusalem.

  • 9

    FREE DAY. A day at leisure for relaxation and reflection. We’ll get you started with a walk to the New Gate, the 8th and final gate of the Old City, built in 1889, by the Ottomon Turkish Sultan Abu Hamid. Afterwards, we’ll give you plenty of options to get the most out of this day on your own. As Sabbath breaks in, we highly recommend a stop at the Western Wall. This is the historic retaining wall of Herod’s temple esplanade, known throughout the world as an important center of contemporary Judaism. Overnight Ambassador Hotel, Jerusalem.

  • 10
    Mount of Olives, Gethsemane, Upper Room, St. Peter in Gallicantu, The Church of the Holy Sepulcher

    JESUS AND THE PASSION: The Mount of Olives, Gethsemane, Upper Room Site, St. Peter in Gallicantu, The Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This very meaningful day in Jerusalem begins with a panoramic view of the city from just west of Bethany, on the Mount of Olives. Here we will lay out the steps of Jesus between March 27, and April 4, in 33CE, the days of his passion. Then we walk along the pilgrim route to Gethsemane, where we’ll enter the cave of the olive press, the “place” where Jesus met in secret with his disciples on the night he was betrayed. We also find a quiet spot in the olive garden to contemplate the agony of our Lord. We then visit the site of the Upper Room where Jesus ate the Passover feast with his disciples and then immediately go to the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, where Peter denied Jesus just outside the interrogation before Caiaphas and the authorities of the Sanhedrin. After lunch, we visit the site of the Roman trials before Pontius Pilate, where Jesus was scourged and condemned to death and walk the historical Via Dolorosa together to the site of his crucifixion and resurrection. This very emotional day ends with our hands on the bedrock that shook when the earthquake released our risen Lord from the tomb. A lavish farewell meal and a meaningful communion reflection at the hotel conclude our extraordinary experience together, a foundation for the rest of our lives. Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, for early morning flight to NY via Istanbul (November 13).

  • 11
    Departure LAND ONLY

    DEPARTURE. PLEASE NOTE: If you’re originating in the USA, you’ll want to book your flight back to your original departure city from TLV to depart on Sunday Ausgust 27, 2023

Departure Date
May 16 - May 26, 2024
Price / Person
Tour Number: 240533

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Romans 10:9 "because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."